Oct 22, 2014

[VIDEO] Top 10 manufacturing supply chains

supply chain
4 min
Inside the world's most sophisticated supply chains.
Globalisation and consumer demand are making the art of supply chain management a pivotal component of the manufacturing process, so we take a look a...

Globalisation and consumer demand are making the art of supply chain management a pivotal component of the manufacturing process, so we take a look at the leading protagonists mastering its international logistics operations, according to Gartner’s latest research:

10. Nike

Like many of the companies in this countdown, Nike’s challenges arise from its global prominence and ensuring that it is being seen to act in a responsible manner, not just in its immediate vicinity, but influencing that same ethos throughout the whole supply chain.

This company achieves this by focusing on the roots of potential problems to ensure sustainability and a personable nature with its partners.

9. Dell

Similarly, Dell sees the importance of industry collaboration as key in optimising its supply chain, making sure that the competitive nature of the tech industry doesn’t overshadow the importance of mutually beneficial relationships with suppliers.

As a result, the company enforces an environment of shared expertise and best practices to get the entire value chain reading from the same hymn sheet.

8. Colgate-Palmolive

Supply chain visibility has been the trigger for Colgate-Palmolive’s supply chain success, while also emphasising the importance of accelerated time to market through its affiliation with SAP over the past 20 years.

Its global network and subsequent reliance on internet sales has recently made its supply chain even more complex before, making partnerships with the likes of SAP even more pivotal to move with the times.

7. Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola has openly stated that it wants to save as much as $1 billion through its supply chain in just the next two years, with the company pinpointing its logistics operations as a cost-cutting opportunity following its recent net income decline.

This comes as part of its productivity and reinvestment imitative which pays special significance to global supply chain optimisation and IT standardisation.

6. Samsung Electronics

As a member of the supply chain hall of fame, Samsung Electronics’ adherence to six sigma and lean strategies has spread its influence across its partners too.

Its infamous ‘Best Practice Analysis’ philosophy incorporates evaluation of some of the world’s leading companies to both learn from and improve upon the most efficient models in manufacturing.

5. Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems is another to base its supply chain motives on lean principles; once again filtering this through its entire operations, from manufacture to customer.

The main advantages enjoyed as a result comprise retiring obsolete processes, reducing or eliminating waste, reducing costs and creating value through its engineering capabilities.

4. Procter & Gamble

Procter & Gamble (P&G) is driving supply chain optimisation through its global sustainability goals, which the company has become so renowned for over the years.

Its commitment to eliminating deforestation in its palm oil supply chain by educating and improving practices alongside its suppliers has won the company great acclaim as it looks to find unique and environmentally significant solutions to supply chain challenges.

3. Intel

Supply chain visibility and transparency is becoming a key component of a trustworthy supply chain, especially among globally operating organisations, and Intel has been vigilant in meeting the demands of this trend.

The chip manufacturer has subsequently partnered with other companies in the IT industry to create and promote a ‘Transparency Task Force’.

2. Unilever

Winning the title of best supply chain in Europe, not for the first time, Unilever has long been applauded for its excellence in the area.

The company has mastered its sustainable operations on a principle of leveraging eight key disciplines consisting of engineering, manufacturing, procurement, logistics, customer service, planning, quality and safety.

1. Apple

While Unilever’s dominance in the European supply chain stakes comes as no surprise, either does Apple’s stranglehold in the global battle.

Being a marked man at the top of the pile inevitably presents its own set of unique challenges, and Apple has come in for criticism in the past, and most recently due to the speed it can get its products to market.

Once again though, Apple has responded accordingly, seeking to increase the control that it has over its supply chain by manufacturing its own components and increasing the size of orders.

Combine this internal control with its already renowned visibility and hands-on approach to the design of its products, and one of the world’s most influential brands is likely to hold on to top spot for many more years to come. 

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Mar 14, 2019

Top 10 Fast-Moving Consumer Goods companies

Catherine Sturman
5 min
FMCG companies
10. L’Oréal

10. L’Oréal

Founded in 1919 in France, L’Oréal has grown into a multinational brand with over 82,000 employees, becoming one of the most internationally recognised FMCG companies worldwide.

Registering 498 patents in 2017, the business is focused on innovation and developing strong relationships with suppliers and partners. 100% of its strategically important suppliers will also take part in its sustainable development programme in 2020.

9. Phillip Morris

Despite various campaigns, over a billion people are set to smoke in 2025. Multinational FMCG company, Philip Morris remains a leading tobacco company, expanding its footprint into more than 180 key markets.

With 81,000 employees covering 80 languages in total, the company houses a comprehensive, agricultural supply chain; sourcing 400,000 metric tonnes of tobacco each year in partnership with 350,000+ tobacco farmers. The company has also sought to embrace the manufacture of electronic devices for heated tobacco products and ecigarettes.

8. JBS

Launched in the 1950s, global Brazilian food industry leader JBS is now home to 300 production facilities with over 10 billion-dollar brands under its umbrella., such as Seara, Swift, Friboi, Doriana, Moy Park, Pilgrim’s, Primo and more.

Serving more than 300,000 customers, it is the world’s largest company in the beef sector, with over 235,000 employees. Its Legal Supplier Programme has enabled beef suppliers to adapt to Brazil’s environmental legislation, whilst the Green Light Pact initiative has seen cattle breeding centres in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil improve their production practices.

7.  Coca Cola

Coca-Cola’s wide-ranging distribution network, strong portfolio and exceptional marketing capabilities have made it one of the most iconic FMCG companies in the world.

Available in over 200 countries, its products are supplied through one of the world’s largest beverage distribution networks, where suppliers must adhere to its Sustainable Agriculture Guiding Principles (SAGP) and Supplier Engagement Program.

Adopting SmartLabel technology across its manufacturing operations, the business is also leading the way in the identification, implementation and sharing of best practices. Each product now houses a QR code, providing complete transparency. The company is also looking to reduce the emissions from its production processes, where 42% of energy used at its sites is sourced from renewable energy sources.

6. AB InBev

Originally established by combining three big companies: Interbrew, Ambev and Anheuser-Busch, Belgian-Brazilian beverage company AB InBev is officially the world’s largest beverage business.

Selling over 500 beer brands, such as Budweiser, Corona, Leffe and Quilmes in more than 100 countries, the company is acutely aware of its need to frequently adapt and enhance its distribution network.


Partnering with nearly 50,000 farmers, the business is committed to sustainable sourcing, where its flagship platform, SmartBarley has utilised data analytics to support more than 5,000 enrolled farmers improve their productivity and environmental performance. AI and blockchain will also support its manufacturing capabilities.

5. Unilever

Housing some of the most recognisable everyday brands, Unilever’s aggressive acquisition strategy and strong brand presence has seen it become a household name across 190 countries worldwide. Its R&D centres have sought to fully bolster its manufacturing operations and vast distribution network, where the business has maintained its zero non-hazardous waste-to- landfill agenda since 2017.

Additionally, a number of its initiatives have provided employment opportunities to those in rural areas. Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) has enabled half of the company’s agricultural raw materials, such as palm oil to become sustainably sourced. Not only that, 26 sustainable living brands are now situated under the company’s umbrella.

4. PepsiCo

The main rival to Coca-Cola, PepsiCo’s beverages, as well as its food products continue to grow in popularity and demand.

Harnessing significant brand awareness, the Fortune 500 company is one of the most admired companies in the world. Its six global divisions form part of its aim to transform its products which are delivered through its extensive distribution network to meet the ever-evolving needs of customers.

3. Procter & Gamble

Following from its acquisition of personal care company Gillette in 2005, Procter & Gamble has become one the largest FMCG companies, with operations in up to 70 countries.

Providing a range of personal and consumer health products to five billion customers, the company’s recent plans to acquire the consumer health division of Merck Group, as well as implementing a new simplified management structure will form part of its 2020 vision.

2. Johnson & Johnson

A firm family favourite, Johnson & Johnson remains one of the most influential FMCG companies. With products in three categories, Consumer Healthcare, Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals, the business has grown at a considerate pace, with up to 250 subsidiaries under its umbrella.

The company’s complex, global distribution network and diverse supplier base has seen the business embrace new technologies across its network, as it continues to thrive in its role in delivering quality products and services at affordable prices for consumers.

1. Nestle AG

Undertaking a number of corporate acquisitions, Swiss food and beverage company, Nestle has become the largest in the world, with more than 2000 brands available in 189 countries.

Home to the world’s largest private food and nutrition research organisation, the company invested US$1.7bn in its research capabilities in 2017 alone, supporting its 30 R&D facilities worldwide. Its recent partnership with Starbucks will see the business bolster its complex distribution network.

Additionally, in alignment with UN Sustainable Development Goals, Nestle is striving for zero environmental impact across its operations. Providing clear labels across its manufacturing lines, the company provides nutritional knowledge as well as supporting local farmers who provide high quality ingredients within its sustainable sourcing efforts.

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